“What do YOU do for a living?”
Those words can strike fear and paralysis in the hearts & minds of the tragically unprepared. If you’re newly in business for yourself, or have just never really gotten your head properly wrapped around HOW you should respond to this powerful question, you’re sunk. Handle it the right way, and you’ll be rewarded with confidence, respect, and a fatter bank account.
And that’s exactly what we’re going to cover in this article. So shut off your Facebook & keep reading…
It never fails. You’re out at a social event, taking a flight somewhere, or maybe you just strike up a casual conversation with someone somewhere sometime. If you’re both adults over the age of 25 or so, the question eventually comes up, “What do you do?”
We’ve all heard it - especially if you live in or near a city and are wearing a suit or professional attire.
How do most people reply to this question? That depends. If they have a JOB, the answer is pretty easy. And it’s typically pretty boring. They’ll usually just give their title or job description, like “I’m a banker,” or “I work at a law firm,” or even “I’m a teacher.”
And the other person’s eyes glaze over as they politely respond with “Oh...Ok,” and continue the conversation.
Does that sound familiar? Ever heard that verbal exchange before? Have you ever given an answer like that? You don’t have to answer here. Just be honest with yourself.
It’s ok. There’s no shame. It is what it is, and it is what most people typically do. But after you read this article, you’ll know better. And if you ever do that again, I’ll personally throw you a beatin’. ;)
Introducing… A Better Way!
Now that you know what NOT to do (be boring, typical, and not do anything to stand out or attract positive attention to yourself), let’s look at a better way to answer that question so that you have more fun, get better results, and actually engage someone in a cool conversation. Sound good?
Get ready, because here comes some harsh truth, snowflake…
Nobody really cares WHAT you do. Only fake, disingenuous, status-seeking people care about what title you have, where you work, or what initials you’ve worked hard to have appear after your name.
But… Everybody cares about the OUTCOMES and SOLUTIONS you provide, especially if/when those outcomes apply to THEM (or someone they know & love). In other words, everyone is pretty well tuned to their favorite radio station: WIIFM, which means: What’s In It For Me?
Let’s consider a little example, shall we? Say you’re at a meetup group or other business networking function, and you ask the person you’re talking to our million-dollar question of the day, “What do you do?”
They reply with something typical, like “I’m a real estate agent.”
Without even asking them any further questions or knowing anything else about them, do you already have an idea about this person’s boring business life? Even if they’re the best agent in the city, is there any real reason for you to get excited about possibly doing business with them, even if you have a need for their services? Probably not.
So you finish your conversation, maybe even politely exchange business cards, continue doing what you were doing, and forget about them.
Now let’s look at another situation. Same event, but this time you get a very different response from someone who basically has the exact same occupation. When you ask what they do for a living, they reply with “Have you ever known someone who is trying to sell their house? Well, what I do is leverage social media and other powerful marketing methods that most people typically ignore or use for other purposes - to get them a faster, easier, and more profitable sale for their property!”
Wouldn’t you want to engage with that person? Wouldn’t you want to have a whole new conversation with them, and possibly explore doing business together?
Why? Because they’re different. They’re focused on the OUTCOME of what they can DO for you or their clients. They’ve also aroused your curiosity and opened the door for further exploration and conversation!
I can see the gears turning in your head. :)
Now let’s take this a step further. In fact, I’m about to give you an early Christmas gift!
I’m sure you understand the main concept of focusing on what you DO for people rather than just what you DO. Now let’s see how to get someone’s attention, have them interested/curious/engaged, and finish by having them send you business! Ready?
Here’s the template: Start with a curiosity-laden, problem-centered simple QUESTION. Then answer the question while describing the benefits you provide in a fun & exciting way. Keep it brief. Then finish off by asking another question that gets the other person to reply to you positively.
Whew! That’s a lot, right? So maybe it’s best if I show you what I mean. We’re going to end with this. If you’re a real estate investor, this is a very valuable gift you’re getting here, because it does all the above...and will even get you some deals, IF you use it properly.
So if you’re a real estate investor, the next time someone asks you what you do for a living, here’s a great reply you can use. You may slightly alter this to suit your taste:
An Investor’s Reply to the Question, “What Do YOU Do:”
“Have you ever known someone looking to buy or sell a house, but didn’t know what to do or where to get started? I create solutions to help people get better results than the usual boring “traditional” ways of doing real estate...without paying commissions or fees, and many times putting or keeping more money in their pockets, faster & easier than anybody else!”
“Who do you know who’s looking to buy or sell a house that could benefit from my services?”
Read that over a few times. Make your minor changes if you have to. Practice it. Get comfy with the words, the cadence, and the presentation. Then USE it the next time you get that question...and watch what happens!
Congratulations! You’re now on your way to replacing fear with confidence, engaging more people in conversation, and having more fun while you make more money! Why? Because you now know you need to focus on the OUTCOMES and BENEFITS of what you DO for people, rather than just what you DO to make money. And if I ever catch you just saying that “you’re an investor” or something boring like that ever again, you’re going to regret it!
Until Next Time,